Apr 17 2016

Obituary: Bruce Mansfield

brucemansfield_0001Bruce Mansfield, prominent media identity in Melbourne for 50 years, has died at the age of 71.

Mansfield had been diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.

The nephew of popular 1940s and 1950s radio host Terry Dear, Mansfield’s first break in radio came in winning a competition for a junior announcing position at Melbourne station 3UZ.

He later presented on 3XY and did voice over announcing at GTV9. At around this time he first met Philip Brady, someone who he would become well associated with in years to come.

At GTV9, as well as announcing, Mansfield appeared in comedy skits on shows like Cartoon Corner with Daryl Somers and In Melbourne Tonight. But his career took a different turn when he moved across to rival channel ATV0 in 1973, initially as a booth announcer and warm up guy but later became newsreader. He presented the weekend news at first before being promoted to fronting the channel’s main weeknight bulletin in 1974. It was a role that he held for six years.

YouTube: Conniptions886

The change of management when ATV0 changed to ATV10 saw Mansfield move to voice over announcing and other duties such as hosting movie matinees. This led to a shift back to radio as part of the top-rating breakfast show on 3AW, working alongside John Blackman and later Darren James.

After a stint that followed at 3AK, Mansfield returned to 3AW in 1990 to host its weekly nostalgia program Remember When and talkback show Nightline, both with Philip Brady. Theirs was to be a successful partnership that, apart from a brief hiatus in 2000, continued until last year when Mansfield was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

While hosting Remember When and Nightline, Mansfield continued to make appearances on television, including Rove Live, Good Morning Australia and nostalgia special The Way We Were. He also presented Night Owl Theatre and Mansfield’s Melbourne in the early days of what is now C31. In more recent years he appeared in the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal telethon.

In 2014 there was a campaign for Mansfield to go back to read the news at Ten Eyewitness News for the channel’s 50th anniversary. The newsreading gig was not to be but he did appear in a report for the station’s birthday as well as on the special 50 Years Young.

Bruce Mansfield is survived by wife Jill, their children and grandchildren.

Source: 3AW. Tales From The Scrapbook, Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady, 1993.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/04/obituary-bruce-mansfield.html

Apr 09 2016

1996: April 6-12

tvweek_060496Cover: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson (The X Files)

Logies: The Famous Five
TV Week has announced the nominations for the upcoming 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards. In a change with tradition, each category will have five nominations and all but the Gold category will be narrowed to three nominations on the big night. Meanwhile, John Farnham has been announced as a guest performer on Logies night, three years after he took to the Logies stage with Tom Jones. “I get nervous about every big gig and the Logies is a big one,” he told TV Week. Kate Ceberano will also be performing at the Logies, singing the all-important opening number.  Producer Peter Wynne, working on his fourth Logies, says the emphasis will be on celebration. “Because it’s TV’s 40th anniversary in Australia this year, we’ll reflect on some elements of the past, but the show won’t be based on that,” he said. “In the presentation area, we’re going for a lot of people who are very humourous.”

Nominations: TV Week Logie Awards publicly-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Dieter Brummer, Melissa George, Ray Martin, Lisa McCune, Daryl Somers

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer, Guy Pearce, Martin Sacks, Gary Sweet, John Wood

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Tempany Deckert, Isla Fisher, Melissa George, Rebecca Gibney, Lisa McCune

Most Popular New Talent: Kate Fischer, Katrina Hobbs, Wendy Mooney, Nic Testoni, Vulcan

Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program: Better Homes And Gardens, Burke’s Backyard, Getaway, The Great Outdoors, Talk To The Animals

Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection, A*Mazing, Bananas In Pyjamas, Play School, Spellbinder

Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair, The 7.30 Report, 60 Minutes, Today, Today Tonight

Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, The Footy Show (AFL), The Footy Show (NRL), Gladiators, Hey Hey It’s Saturday

Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Ernie Dingo, Tim Ferguson, Sam Newman, Daryl Somers, Jo Beth Taylor

Most Popular Sports Program: AFL Grand Final, Australian Open Tennis, The Footy Show (AFL), The Footy Show (NRL), Gladiators

Most Popular Series: Blue Heelers, Fire, GP, Home And Away, Neighbours

Most Popular Drama: Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River, Fire, Halifax fp, Law Of The Land, Police Rescue

Most Popular Comedy Program: Frontline, Full Frontal, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Jimeoin, Just Kidding

Most Popular Comedy Personality: Andrew Denton, Tim Ferguson, Jimeoin, Daryl Somers, Magda Szubanski

TV Week Logie Awards industry-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame; Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor; Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress; Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production; Most Outstanding Documentary; Most Outstanding Achievement In News; Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs; Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy; Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network

russellgilbertdermottbreretonJust for kicks
Russell Gilbert, currently working on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, is set to co-host a new football show for Foxtel. Footy Fever is to be presented by Gilbert and now retired footballer Dermott Brereton. Brereton is no stranger to television, having appeared for several years on In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today and more recently as a panellist on The Footy Show in Melbourne.

The Crying Game
It was an emotional return to Blue Heelers for former cast member Ann Burbrook. After her character Roz Patterson was written out of the series in 1994, she is now returning following the death of Roz’s estranged husband, Wayne (Grant Bowler), to claim his body and arrange for its burial. “It wasn’t difficult at all for me to cry through the episode,” Burbrook told TV Week. “When I remembered the fun times Roz had had with Wayne and imagined him being in that box, the tears just flowed.” Since leaving Blue Heelers, Burbrook has worked on Law Of The Land and Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River and is soon to appear in the new ABC series, Mercury.

garyeckkatrinawarrenLooking snappy!
The success of Nine‘s Just Kidding has led to Network Ten bringing Candid Camera back to TV. The new look to the classic format will be hosted by stand up comedian Gary Eck and Totally Wild‘s Katrina Warren. As well as featuring new gags, the new Candid Camera will include some of the classics from the American original dating back to the 1950s. “I’m the first to agree that the black-and-white shows are by far the best,” Warren told TV Week. “In the Fifties, people were so much more gullible.” The last time Candid Camera was attempted on Australian television was back in 1989, also on Ten, with the show hosted by Tony Murphy and Lisa Peers.


  • Jacqueline McKenzie is tipped to join Josephine Byrnes and Rebecca Gibney in the new Seven Network mini-series Kangaroo Palace. The mini-series, set in the Sixties, will be filmed in Melbourne and London.
  • Word from behind the scenes at Home And Away is that Michael (Dennis Coard) is to exit the series in dramatic fashion. The storyline is set to feature the return of Michael’s son, Haydn (Andrew Hill), for the funeral.
  • New sitcom project Skin Deep is to go to pilot stage for ABC later this month. Set in a beauty parlour, the series tells the story of two sisters (played by Jane Hall and Sandy Ireland) who are reunited after one was given up for adoption. Also cast for the project are John McTernan (Cop Shop, GP) and Robert Grubb (The Flying Doctors).

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 17 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 World Cup Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka Nine Sun 2555000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1945000
3 JAG Seven Mon 1931000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1877000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1820000
6 Special: 40 Years Of Television Seven Mon 1800000
7 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1741000
8 National Nine News Nine M-F 1713000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1678000
10 National Nine News Nine Sun 1667000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1655000
12 Chicago Hope Seven Wed 1623000
13 Special: Nude Moments Seven Thu 1593000
14 The Nanny Ten Sun 1534000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1524000
16 Ellen Seven Thu 1495000
17 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1475000
18 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1470000
19 Home And Away Seven M-F 1460000
20 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1460000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 6-12):
Saturday: Gladiators‘ International Series (7.20pm, Seven) reaches its Grand Final, followed by Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven), featuring West Coast Eagles versus Brisbane Bears, live from Perth.

graemeblundellSunday: Graeme Blundell (pictured) and Debra Byrne star in Cross Turning Over, the final episode of Naked: Stories Of Men (8.30pm, ABC). Sunday night movies are The Diamond Trap (Nine) and The Super (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Frank Holloway (Colin Friels) is accused of taking a bribe when he is caught on film collecting an envelope containing a large sum of money that’s been left in a waterfront warehouse. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Ross Greenwood looks at the rights and obligations of shoppers and consumers; and Tonia Todman takes the humble tea towel and transforms it into a colourful decor item. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Callie (Danielle Spencer) walks out on Rick (André Eikmeier), but accepts his simple and heartfelt apology.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) and Rupert (Tobi Webster) find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Sonia (Zoe Carides) becomes entwined in a disastrous domestic situation. Jana Wednt‘s new current affairs program, Witness (9.30pm, Seven), debuts with reporters Graham Davis, Paul Barry, Mark Llewellyn, Tracey Bowden and Prue Lewarne.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) and Marilyn (Emily Symons) resume dating. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Jean (Liddy Clark) finally uncovers evidence to break Jimmy’s (Kim Gyngell) insurance scam.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) confesses to Phillip (Ian Rawlings) that Rosemary (Joy Chambers) accused her of having an affair with her boyfriend.

Friday: Paul McDermott hosts the new panel show Good News Week (8pm, ABC), featuring Kate Fischer. AFL Live (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus Geelong, live from Football Park, Adelaide.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 6 April 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/04/1996-april-6-12.html

Apr 08 2016

Adelaide’s TV history on show

adelaidetvexhibitionThe early days of television in Adelaide are to be rediscovered in two exhibitions being presented by the State Library Of South Australia.

“Begin transmission: SA turns on the television” (9 April to 5 June, Treasures Wall) relives the memories of TV’s earliest days in Adelaide and goes back even further to rediscover the long road to get television to Australia.

“Channel Nine Adelaide – 1959 to now” (9 April to 19 June, Institute Building – Gallery and Ante Room) goes back to the beginning of Adelaide’s first TV station, NWS9, and remembers some of the early programs to come from the former studios on Tynte Street, North Adelaide, including Adelaide Tonight, The Channel Niners, Here’s Humphrey and The Country And Western Hour. Personalities like Lionel Williams, Kevin Crease, Roger Cardwell, Ian Fairweather, Anne Wills and children’s character Winky Dink are also featured.

The exhibition sheds some light on the difficulties faced in producing TV in the early days — and why NWS9’s opening night program was presented from the women’s dressing room!

Also on show is how TV news coverage has changed over the decades as well as reliving some of the big news stories and remembering some of the faces that have presented the news over that time.

The State Library Of South Australia is located at North Terrace, Adelaide.

Source: State Library Of South Australia


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/04/adelaides-tv-history-on-show.html

Apr 06 2016

Waleed got nominated for the Gold Logie. So what?

logies_2016_nomineesThis week’s announcement of the nominees for the 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards has triggered some astounding reaction for an award that many Australians would otherwise normally declare that they have no interest in.

waleedalyThe nomination of The Project‘s Waleed Aly and SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin for the top award, the Gold Logie, has brought on some staggering if not confusing commentary from that beacon of journalism, The Daily Telegraph, and a sister website, Rendezview. (Although the latter’s review is actually less than clear if it is being serious or satirical) And, in turn, some of their supporters are seemingly happy to jump on the outrage bandwagon at the thought that TV’s most prized trophy might (remember, there are four other nominees) go to someone who is less than white.

The fact that it has taken 58 years for Australia’s viewing population to acknowledge talent from a diverse background is telling enough. The reaction is even more disappointing… especially given most of the critics most likely never voted nor cared for an award that they now seem so passionate about. (And with all due respect to TV Week, at the end of the day — it is a Logie award. Not a knighthood or the Nobel Peace Prize)

leelinchinNo doubt the nomination of Aly and Chin is a largely youth-led choice, given Aly’s profile as co-host on The Project and Chin’s self-parody perpetuated by youth current affairs program The Feed. And, no doubt, their respective profiles are boosted by social media — even though Aly avoids it but his content from The Project has certainly gone viral — which in turn has impacted on what is essentially a popularity poll.

Critics have labelled their popularity as not in line with ratings. But the Logies have never been about ratings. The Project reaches more viewers than Today, for which Karl Stefanovic won Gold a few years ago — and whose win was also on the back of a considerable social media campaign. And Aly’s on-air partner Carrie Bickmore won the same award last year. She is also nominated again this year.

Other Gold Logie winners have included stars of daytime TV — names like Mike Walsh, Ray Martin, Jeanne Little, Hazel Phillips and Maggie Tabberer — which also rates lower than its prime-time counterparts.

tvweek_200376One year the Gold Logie was even awarded to a fictional character: Norman Gunston. And from the ABC, no less. Again, not a result in line with traditional ratings but, perhaps like Chin’s self-parody profile, was aided by Gunston’s (Garry McDonald) public campaigning for votes.

Media outlets such as The Daily Telegraph should be thrilled to see younger Australians engaging with heritage brands like the Logie Awards at a time where every traditional media outlet is facing the challenge of appealing to a generation that has so many other media options available to it. This shows that there is hope for “old media” among the millennials.

The Logie Awards have often been accused of being a relic of the past. But these nominations show that it, and its voters, are more contemporary than many might now care to admit.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/04/waleed-got-nominated-for-the-gold-logie-so-what.html

Apr 04 2016

TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

leelinchinSBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin (pictured) is a surprise nomination — and the first ever for SBS — for the Gold Logie at the 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

Nominations for the event were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne last night.

Also nominated for Gold this year are The Project’s Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly, The Block’s Scott Cam, Miss Fisher Murder MysteriesEssie Davis and Network Ten‘s Grant Denyer.

All Gold Logie nominees, bar Davis, have also been nominated for Best Presenter. Davis has, however, also been nominated for Most Outstanding Actress.

Chin, an SBS newsreader for over 20 years, has gained popularity through her self-parody appearances on SBS2’s The Feed, which began two years ago. The social media campaign to gain her a Gold Logie nomination has paid off well.

And with Aly, of Egyptian decent, and Indonesian-born Chin among the nominees, this year looks to be the most culturally diverse Gold Logie field ever.

The Seven Network mini-series Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door has scored a nomination for Most Outstanding Mini-Series Or Movie, with lead actor Joel Jackson (who also starred in the Foxtel series Deadline Gallipoli) being nominated for Best New Talent and also being announced as the winner of the new category for Most Outstanding New Talent — Actor. Ky Baldwin, who played the young Peter Allen in the mini-series, was announced as the winner of the Graham Kennedy Breakthrough Star Of Tomorrow (formerly the Graham Kennedy Award For Outstanding Newcomer).

The Logie for the new category of Most Outstanding New Talent — Actress was won by Melina Vidler from the Seven Network drama series 800 Words.

This year also marked debut nominations for streaming service Stan, with three nominations for comedy series No Activity, including Most Outstanding Comedy Program and individual nominations for Dan Wyllie and Tim Minchin.

The recipient of the TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame is to be announced.

The 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards will be held on Sunday 8 May at Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne and telecast on the Nine Network.

ESSIE DAVIS – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC
GRANT DENYER – Family Feud/The Great Australian Spelling Bee, NETWORK TEN
LEE LIN CHIN – SBS World News/The Feed, SBS
SCOTT CAM – The Block/ Reno Rumble, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: Carrie Bickmore (pictured)

CRAIG MCLACHLAN – The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC
JOSH THOMAS – Please Like Me, ABC

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Actor): Stephen Peacocke

ESSIE DAVIS – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Actress): Asher Keddie

GRANT DENYER – Family Feud/ The Great Australian Spelling Bee, NETWORK TEN
LEE LIN CHIN – SBS World News/The Feed, SBS

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Presenter): Carrie Bickmore

ADAM DOVILE – Better Homes And Gardens, CHANNEL SEVEN
JOEL JACKSON – Deadline Gallipoli/ Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE/ CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular New Talent): Miranda Tapsell

A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
House Husbands, NINE NETWORK
Love Child, NINE NETWORK (pictured)

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Drama): Home And Away

Family Feud, NETWORK TEN
Gruen, ABC
Have You Been Paying Attention?, NETWORK TEN
The X Factor Australia, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Entertainment Program): Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America

60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK
The Project, NETWORK TEN

(New Category)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, NETWORK TEN
MasterChef Australia, NETWORK TEN
My Kitchen Rules, CHANNEL SEVEN
The Bachelorette, Australia NETWORK TEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Reality Program): The Block

Marngrook Footy Show, NITV
Wide World Of Sports, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Sports Program): The NRL Footy Show

Better Homes And Gardens, CHANNEL SEVEN
Gardening Australia, ABC
Selling Houses Australia, FOXTEL – THE LIFESTYLE CHANNEL
The Living Room, NETWORK TEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Lifestyle Program): The Living Room

Australian Story, ABC
Bondi Rescue, NETWORK TEN
Who Do You Think You Are?, SBS

(New Category)

ALEX DIMITRIADES – Matt Bashir, The Principal, SBS
HUGH DANCY – Ellis Ashmead Bartlett, Deadline Gallipoli, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE
PATRICK BRAMMALL – James Hayes, Glitch, ABC
SAM NEILL – Lang Hancock, House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: Luke Arnold

DEBORAH MAILMAN – Lorraine, Redfern Now: Promise Me, ABC
ESSIE DAVIS – Phryne Fisher, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC
MANDY MCELHINNEY – Gina Rinehart, House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK
PAMELA RABE (pictured) – Joan Ferguson, Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO
SARAH SNOOK – Anna Ivin, The Beautiful Lie, ABC

Last year’s winner: Danielle Cormack

DAN WYLLIE – Jimmy, No Activity, STAN
DAVID BERRY – James Bligh, A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
RYAN CORR – Corporal Macdonald, Banished, FOXTEL – BBC FIRST
TIM MINCHIN – Jacob, No Activity, STAN, AND Smasher Sullivan, The Secret River, ABC

(New Category)

CELIA IRELAND – Liz Birdsworth, Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO
EMILY BARCLAY – Sarah Hayes, Glitch, ABC
HARRIET DYER – Patricia Saunders, Love Child, NINE NETWORK
JENNI BAIRD – Regina Standish, A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
RARRIWUY HICK – Robyn Davis, Redfern Now: Promise Me, ABC

(New Category)

A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
Glitch, ABC
Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO

Last year’s winner: Wentworth

Deadline Gallipoli, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE
House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK
Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, CHANNEL SEVEN
The Beautiful Lie, ABC
The Secret River, ABC

Last year’s winner: Devil’s Playground

Gruen, ABC
Have You Been Paying Attention?, NETWORK TEN
The Weekly With Charlie Pickering, ABC
The X Factor Australia, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner: The Voice

No Activity, STAN
Please Like Me, ABC
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, ABC
Utopia, ABC

Last year’s winner: Utopia

Bottersnikes & Gumbles, CHANNEL SEVEN
Bushwhacked!, ABC3
Little Lunch, ABC3
Play Along With Sam, FOXTEL – NICK JR.
Ready For This, ABC3

Last year’s winner: Nowhere Boys

2015 Australian Open, CHANNEL SEVEN/7TWO
Emirates Melbourne Cup, CHANNEL SEVEN
KFC T20 Big Bash League, NETWORK TEN
NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final, NINE NETWORK
Holden State Of Origin II, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: 2014 FIFA World Cup

“Iraq-Syria War Coverage” – ABC 7pm News, ABC
“Liberal Leadership Crisis: Abbott V Turnbull”, FOXTEL – SKY NEWS LIVE
“Migrant Crisis – Special Report” – ABC 7pm News, ABC
“Paris Attack” – Seven News, CHANNEL SEVEN
“Parramatta Shooting” – Seven News, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner: “Lindt Café Siege”, Seven News

“Catching A Monster” – 60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK
“Hitting Home” – Hitting Home, ABC
“Making A Killing” – Four Corners, ABC
“The Killing Season” – The Killing Season, ABC
“The Siege Survivors” – 60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: ‘Banking Bad”, Four Corners

Source: TV Week




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/04/tv-week-logie-awards-nominations-4.html

Mar 31 2016

1996: March 30-April 5

tvweek_300396Blue Heeler’s tragic exit
Dramatic scenes in this week’s Blue Heelers will see Constable Wayne Patterson tragically killed, but actor Grant Bowler (pictured with Lisa McCune) is glad to be gone. “Part of the reason I left the show is because I thought I no longer had a lot to offer it creatively,” he told TV Week. “After two-and-a-half years I was burnt out. I wasn’t operating on all cylinders.” The episode sees Constable Patterson crossing paths with notorious criminal Joe Kenny (Anthony Lawrence). Kenny has escaped from prison, seeking revenge on Patterson for the brief affair he had with Kenny’s wife, Kate (Rebecca Rigg). Since leaving Blue Heelers in December, Bowler has been working on stage in Sydney and also runs a production company with two friends. “At the moment it’s very successful, and I’ll probably be travelling with the company later in the year,” he said.

danielamalmWhy I had to get out!
Daniel Amalm (pictured) has revealed the real reasons behind his decision to quit Home And Away. The 17-year-old, who had played Jack Wilson in the soap for three years, had become disillusioned and a little paranoid about the public attention that comes with soapie stardom. “Even just going out in public, I didn’t realise how seriously people take the show,” he told TV Week. “I don’t mind if girls come up and ask for your autograph, that’s cool. But you get a lot of people too who want to test your strength, because you’re on the show — the guys especially.” Amalm had also received death threats. “I had a couple of phone calls, death threats that said, ‘We’re going to shoot you’ and stuff like that. It doesn’t scare me because I don’t let it.” He also chose to leave the show because his profile was leading to so-called friendships that were not entirely genuine. “You find them doing something and you think, ‘They’re just hanging with me because I’m on television’,” he said. Home And Away producer Russell Webb was disappointed to lose Amalm from the cast but is hopeful to be able to lure him back for a guest role later this year.

simonbakerdenny_0001Simon’s LA story
To say Simon Baker-Denny‘s (pictured) time in Los Angeles has been eventful is quite an understatement. Since arriving in LA on Christmas Day, he has had his car broken into and witnessed how quickly violence can escalate in Hollywood — with one incident in a diner where the owner started shooting at two guys stealing beer. On a more positive note, he has been busy setting up his profile with producers. “I’ve had more appointments here in two months than in Australia in two years!,” he told TV Week. “In Australia, you’re lucky if you get a couple of meetings a month. And you don’t even call them meetings in Australia!” He was close to scoring a key role in the new Western series, Shaughnessy. The shortlist came down to him and one other actor. They chose the other candidate. “People say I was close, but you could probably go for 20 years in this town getting that close and never getting anything. It just sounds so bizarre.” Before leaving Australia, Baker-Denny had been doing an eight-week stint on Heartbreak High and had the lead role in the one-off drama The Blind Side Breakaway, an episode of the ABC series Naked: Stories Of Men that had screened recently. He will also be seen on screen later this year in two episodes of Network Ten‘s upcoming sports drama, Sweat.

Melissa’s AIDS drama
Melissa Tkautz has spoken out about her character Bethany’s HIV diagnosis in the new Nine Network series Pacific Drive. “It’s 1996 and it’s about time there was an ongoing HIV character on television,” she told TV Week. “I did ask in what context we were going to do it. I asked if I was going to be sick on the show, but they said, ‘Not at all. That is the whole reason why we are doing it. We want to show people that just because you are HIV positive, you’re not going to be sick in bed’. It’s about time more people understood the subject matter. They think, ‘If I sit next to an HIV person I’m going to get AIDS’.”


  • Hollywood actress Holly Hunter is the first international guest star confirmed for this year’s TV Week Logie Awards.
  • Southern Star Xanadu, the team behind Cody and Police Rescue, is working on a new aviation drama starring Gary Sweet. Big Sky is also set to star Jeremy Callaghan (Police Rescue, Water Rats) and Peter Phelps. Production of a pilot has been delayed due to to funding delays from the Film Finance Corporation, and no network has committed to the project as yet. Earlier discussions with Network Ten are believed to have fallen through.
  • Despite earlier reports, Sigrid Thornton will now not be starring in the planned Nine Network drama Murder Calls (originally titled Murder Calling). Melbourne-based Thornton was reluctant to relocate to Sydney for the production.
  • Rumours persist that Ten‘s failed soap Echo Point is to be reinstated. Producers Southern Star Xanadu have recently sold the series to Germany for a generous sum and there is talk of bringing the show back into production to cash in on the overseas market.
  • michaelveitch_0002Comedian Michael Veitch (pictured) is taking on the role of a gossip columnist in the upcoming ABC series Mercury. His character, the flamboyant Rocco Kostas, is based on a real Melbourne journalist. “But the real guy is not like this at all,” he told TV Week. “I went to his house and he’s really quite ordinary. What I’m portraying more is the image of what people think a gossip columnist is like.” Veitch will also be appearing as a cop in an upcoming guest role in Blue Heelers. “It was a straight dramatic role, and I loved it.”

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 10 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Australian Grand Prix Nine Sun 2499000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2107000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1993000
4 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1976000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1839000
6 World Cup Cricket: Semi Final (Australia v West Indies) Nine Thu 1766000
7 National Nine News Nine M-F 1749000
8 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1718000
9 JAG Seeven Mon 1718000
10 World Cup Cricket: Quarter Final (Australia v Pakistan) Nine Mon 1717000
11 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1693000
12 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1678000
13 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1577000
14 Ellen Seven Thu 1573000
15 Home And Away Seven M-F 1571000
16 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1536000
17 Babe, You’re A Star Seven Wed 1497000
18 The Nanny Ten Sun 1475000
19 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1408000
20 World Cup Cricket: Semi Final (Sri Lanka v India) Nine Wed 1408000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 30-April 5):
Saturday: Qualifying Day of the Gold Coast Indycar (12pm, Ten) is hosted by Bill Woods. The Victorian State Election is covered across ABC (6.30pm, with Ian Henderson, Barrie Cassidy, Antony Green and Beverley O’Connor), Seven (a half-hour wrap-up with David Johnston at 11.35pm, following Saturday Night Football) and Nine (6.30pm, with Ray Martin, Laurie Oakes, Paul Lyneham, Graham Richardson and former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner).  And for election night, Mal Walden presents a special Melbourne edition of Ten News (10.40pm, Ten).

Sunday: Sunday sport includes the Gold Coast IndyCar (11am, Ten), Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (11am, Nine) and AFL Sunday: Fremantle versus West Coast Eagles (2pm, Seven). Live football continues with Adelaide versus Sydney (5.30pm, Seven), from Football Park, Adelaide. Sunday night movies are Peter’s Friends (Seven), Taggart: Flesh And Blood (repeat, Nine) and Major League (repeat, Ten). This week’s episode of Naked: Stories Of Men (8.30pm, ABC) is A Fallen Woman, the story of a man who lives in a house under the Harbour Bridge and lets out a room to a young couple.

Monday: Children’s game show Time Masters (4pm, Seven) debuts, hosted by Tony Johnston. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) upsets the residents of Ramsay Street with her decision for Cody’s (Peta Brady) funeral to take place in Darwin.

lucybellTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) is head over heels in love with George (Petra Jared), but she admits she’s fallen for another man. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Lizzy (Lucy Bell, pictured), the temporary receptionist at Ross Street, has some major behavioural problems. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), a notorious criminal escapes from remand at St David’s Prison, leading to a confrontation with Constable Wayne Patterson (Grant Bowler).

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Travis (Nic Testoni) is the first at the scene of the Yabbie Creek High School bus crash. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Seldom (Damian Pike) gatecrashes the wedding of Jimmy’s (Kim Gyngell) daughter in his bid to crack Jimmy’s insurance scam.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) find themselves at odds over Danni’s relationship with Ben (Stephen Pease). The internet is the focus of the new technology program HTTP:// The Internet Show (9.20pm, ABC).

Friday (Good Friday): The annual Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal brings together stars of television, radio, theatre and sport to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The telethon kicks off at 9am (Seven), breaking for a half-hour Seven News (12pm), then continuing through to 6pm. The documentary special Miracle Babies (7.30pm, Seven), narrated by Martin Sacks, tells the story of the many babies from around the world who, fighting for their lives, come to the Neo-Natal Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital. The appeal resumes in the evening with the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Variety Benefit (8.30pm, Seven), live from the World Congress Centre, before the telethon returns at 10.45pm ahead of the appeal close at midnight. In a special Good Friday edition of Compass (7.30pm, ABC), a report on the extraordinary life of Father Chu Van Chi, Catholic priest and composer. Other Easter programming includes Turn Round Australia (9.30am, Nine).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 30 March 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/03/1996-march-30-april-5.html

Mar 25 2016

WIN South Australia turns 50

ses8_towerThe launch of SES8 — South Australia’s first regional commercial station and now part of the WIN network — took place 50 years ago today, 25 March 1966. But the station’s debut was meant to happen much earlier.

The channel had originally planned to launch in November 1965 but an accident during construction of the transmission tower on Mount Burr six weeks earlier saw the 150 metre (500 foot) high mast collapse.

The incident was lucky to have had no serious casualties as workmen were at the site when the collapse happened, though none were on the tower at the time. Only one worker was reported to have injured an ankle while running from the tower. The roof of the transmission station and two nearby cars were damaged by the snapped guy ropes as the tower collapsed into a pile of twisted steel.

The mast was to serve both SES8 and ABC‘s planned local channel ABGS1. ABC launched its channel in December 1965 via a temporary transmitter while the permanent mast at Mount Burr was being restored.

SES8 eventually made its first transmissions on Monday, 21 March 1966 and was officially opened on the following Friday night, 25 March 1966. The first program was Tonight’s The Night — a 25-minute special including the official opening speeches and introductions to the station’s personalities. The new channel was declared officially open by Dr Jim Forbes, the local federal member and the Minister for Health.

The opening program was followed by the station’s first news bulletin — five minutes of news headlines. The special Peter Paul And Mary In Australia, recorded in concert at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, was followed by the 1958 movie The Big Country, starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston and Carroll Baker. SES8 signed off from its first night with a two-minute epilogue.

andrewnobletIn its early days SES8 broadcast for around five hours each night — featuring a mix of locally-produced and largely imported programming. Local production from the Mt Gambier studios included Children’s Time, a half-hour weekday program hosted by Andrew Noblet (pictured), an 18-year-old cadet journalist from Adelaide, in front of a studio audience. Early news coverage comprised a nightly half-hour bulletin and a ten-minute update at the close of transmission each night. SES8’s first newsreader was Lewis Hobba, a local chartered accountant who had also been a newsreader for local ABC radio. George Kay, well known in the district as a footballer and cricketer and as a radio commentator, presented the sports reports.

The South East South Australian branch of the Christian Television Association presented a weekly religion program, aimed at all denominations, every Sunday afternoon at 5.30pm.


ses8_1974 ses8_1978
ses8_1980s_0001 win_1989

American programming included Combat, Lone Ranger, Rawhide, Disneyland, The Patty Duke Show, Perry Mason, Danger Man, My Three Sons, The Phil Silvers Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Virginian and Bonanza. Australian programming in the early days didn’t really extend much beyond Bandstand, quiz show Pick A Box and game show It Could Be You.

keithbailhacheThe station launched with a total staff of 24… and boasted six women on the payroll. Keith Bailhache, formerly of GTV9 in Melbourne, was the first general manager. Another ex-GTV9 manager, Des Ford, was SES8’s first program manager, who set out the new channel’s early program objectives: “We want to build a local image by not only covering local newsworthy events but by giving viewers programs they like. In other words, a program may be considered old by city standards, but if SES8 viewers want to see it, we’ll screen it. Don’t get the idea, however, that we’ve bought up old material — a lot of our programs are new — but we’re going after popular-appeal shows. And we’ll try and dodge the heavy violence. We want family viewing.”

With its transmission mast close to the Victorian border, SES8 had a coverage area extending across to Victorian towns including Portland and Hamilton. Broadcasting across two timezones, SES8’s first logo was a number ‘8’ made up of two clock faces — one showing South Australian time and the other Eastern Standard Time.

margaretwatkinsOnly a year after its inception, SES8 launched its own daytime show, Wednesday Woman. The program was initially hosted by Catherine Watson and later Graham Gilbertson, who went on to become SES8’s managing director. But the show’s longest serving presenter was Margaret Watkins (pictured), who hosted over 2000 episodes before retiring in 1987. The program, which became Woman’s World, continued to run for several more years — making it one of the longest running daytime programs on Australian television.

SES8 didn’t take long to become a successful operation. Within its first two years it had expanded its production portfolio to include a weekly opinion program, a student debate series and replacing Children’s Time with the longer Fun Fair. Sports commentator George Kay hosted a Sunday afternoon sports review. South East Telecasters, the station’s parent company, took only two years to record its first annual profit — $33,585 in the 1967/68 financial year.

By the end of the 20th century SES8 and Riverland station RTS5A had been bought out by regional network WIN. The two South Australian stations were re-badged WIN and were soon to expand their program offering to a secondary channel in their respective regions. WIN Ten was launched in 2004 as an affiliate to the Ten Network, with the heritage SES8/RTS5A stations focusing largely on Nine Network programming.

When WIN was having difficult negotiations with Nine over its program supply agreement in 2007 it made the decision to switch SES8/RTS5A to a Seven Network relay, essentially chopping any Nine programming off the schedule. Viewers in the region were to be denied access to Nine’s content until WIN had launched a Nine Network relay on its digital signal to complement WIN Ten and the main channel’s Seven output.

win_2008With the commercial TV monopoly in the Mount Gambier and Riverland regions, WIN in South Australia now provides local transmission of ten channels, including most of the channels from all three metropolitan networks. But all this choice to a small regional market came at a price — local content was deemed too expensive and after a series of cutbacks WIN finally pulled the plug on local news services from SES and RTS in 2013.

Source: Canberra Times, 5 October 1965. The Age, 5 October 1965. The Age, 22 March 1966. TV Times, 6 April 1966. Canberra Times, 24 October 1968. TV Radio Extra, 18 July 1987.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/03/win-south-australia-turns-50.html

Mar 24 2016

Rival stars align for Good Friday

jimmyhannan_0002It is not often that competing TV stations will let their guard down and share some goodwill — but it does happen.

So was the case in 1966 and the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal in Melbourne.

The all-day telethon, the culmination of a year’s events of fund-raising for the renowned hospital, was presented by HSV7 with its sister radio station 3DB hosting its own all-day appeal broadcast.

Special guests for the telethon included rival channel personalities Graham Kennedy (GTV9) and Jimmy Hannan and children’s character Fredd Bear from ATV0.

Hannan (pictured above), who had just recently launched his big-budget variety show, Jimmy, on 0 after jumping ship from Nine, joined the proceedings during the day and performed a song on camera. The performance triggered a response from a keen viewer, a Mrs Jackson of Kew, to promise to donate $100 if he sang again. Mrs Jackson followed this with another $100 offer for another song… and another. All up, Mrs Jackson donated $300 to the appeal. Not an insignificant sum in 1966 — as it converts to roughly $4000 in today’s money!

grahamkennedy_0007Kennedy (pictured), who had to gain permission from GTV9 to take part, joined the appeal desk in the evening and in typical Kennedy style took a few comic shots at the channel (“they get a good picture here considering the age of the equipment”) and at his former boss Norm Spencer. Spencer had hired the young Kennedy to host In Melbourne Tonight at GTV9 in 1957 but had since moved to Seven.

Kennedy also took aim at former GTV9 colleague Bob Horsfall, who responded back: “You’re only here because Jimmy Hannan came in first. Anyway, he brought the bear!”

The 1966 appeal came to a close at midnight, having raised a total of $381,706. Unusually, it was to be a decrease — by approximately $3000 — on the previous year’s total.

This year’s appeal, to take place once again at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, hopes to break last year’s record total of $17,109,063.22.


Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Friday 25 March from 9am. Seven Melbourne and Prime7 regional Victoria – in association with the Herald Sun and 3AW.

UPDATE: The 2016 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal has raised a record total of 17,445,624.38.

Source: The Age, 14 April 1966.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/03/rival-stars-align-for-good-friday.html

Mar 22 2016

1996: March 23-29

tvweek_230396Cover: Aaron Jeffery, Sophie Heathcote (Water Rats)

Sigrid set for murder
The Seven and Nine networks have been in battle over the latest project to come from producer Hal McElroy. Murder Calling, a 26-part series based on Jennifer Rowe‘s Verity Birdwood mystery series, was initially in development between McElroy’s company, Southern Star Xanadu, and the Seven Network. When Seven decided the series should take on a Murder She Wrote style, Southern Star took back the project without Seven’s financial assistance. The series was then pitched to both Nine and Ten, with Nine picking it up. Murder Calling is set to star Sigrid Thornton as private investigator Birdwood. Production on the series is due to start in the second half of the year.

gladiators_0003‘Daryl’s a dead duck!’
Following last week‘s comments from Daryl Somers that “Gladiators is gone”, two of the Gladiators, Vulcan and Delta, have fought back — though with tongue firmly in cheek. “We’ve got the dumb duck and now we’re coming to get you and your program, man,” Vulcan (clutching Hey Hey It’s Saturday‘s Plucka Duck) said in his over-the-top manner. “That’s it! It (Hey Hey) is finished! Leave it to the fit and good looking people. Six-thirty Saturday night is our timeslot. It is time for you to go. Hasta la vista, baby!” Delta responded to Somers’ claims that Gladiators is mostly only popular with children. “I get a lot of fan mail from over 18-year-olds right up to 45-year-old and even some grandmothers,” she told TV Week. “I can only challenge Daryl to come over and watch us film and have a go at a few things. If he thinks this is kids’ stuff, I can guarantee him it’s not.”

dieterbrummer_0002Dieter exposes naked truth
Former Home And Away star Dieter Brummer (pictured) is set to bare all, behind some strategically placed fig leaves, in Seven‘s upcoming special, The World’s Greatest Nude Moments. The show, hosted by Frankie J Holden, is set to uncover various aspects of nude culture — including the nudist colony where the special is being filmed, plus the world’s only nude city (it’s in France) and HG Nelson exploring the merits of nude volleyball and skiing. Brummer’s segment is based on the various activities one should or shouldn’t do while nude. “I can’t remember it all, but it’s things like you shouldn’t do iron ore smelting or fry eggs nude,” he told TV Week. “It’s pretty funny, and basically anything you can do clothed, you can do nude.”


  • Former Echo Point star Diarmid Heidenreich, now appearing as a pizza delivery boy in a series of commercials, is set to host a new children’s game show for Nine. Challenger is to be produced at Nine’s Brisbane studios. Meanwhile, Seven is to launch a new action game show for kids called Timemasters.
  • Some of the names set to be making guest appearances in Nine‘s late night soap Pacific Drive include Sarah Chadwick, Tony Bonner, Ross Newton and Chris Haywood.
  • Aaron Pedersen is to star in The Territorians, a two-hour telemovie for the Seven Network that tells the story of an Aboriginal policeman and the city detective he works with while investigating a series of murders in the Outback.
  • Suddenly noted to be absent from program schedules are Seven‘s newly-launched variety-game show Talking Telephone Numbers and Ten‘s Beyond 2000. The latter was bumped to the 4.30pm Saturday timeslot earlier this year.
  • scottmajor_0001Former Heartbreak High star Scott Major (pictured) takes on a controversial role in this week’s GP. Major plays the part of a 17-year-old lover of a pregnant, 39-year-old woman, to be played by Tracy Mann. “I’m a big believer in the idea that age doesn’t matter,” he told TV Week.
  • Speculation is that Home And Away is to be struck by an earthquake. Scripts haven’t been written yet so the earth won’t be moving until late in the year.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 3 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2176000
2 ER Nine Thu 2092000
3 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1974000
4 National Nine News Nine M-F 1798000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1761000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1696000
7 National Nine News Nine Sat 1690000
8 The X Files Ten Wed 1681000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1680000
10 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1659000
11 JAG Seven Mon 1591000
12 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1578000
13 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1518000
14 Sale Of The Century Nine Tu-F 1506000
15 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1486000
16 The Simpsons Ten Wed 1472000
17 The Nanny Ten Sun 1464000
18 Movie: Pretty Woman Seven Thu 1456000
19 Movie: Point Break Ten Sun 1452000
20 Weddings Nine Wed 1424000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 23-29):
Saturday: Gladiators‘ International Series (6.30pm, Seven) reaches its First Semi-Final, while the Ansett Australia Cup (8.30pm, Seven) reaches its Grand Final, featuring St Kilda versus Carlton. Comedy show Roy & HG (9.30pm, ABC) returns with a new series.

Sunday: In Talk To The Animals (6.30pm, Seven), Jane Holmes visits Australia’s first kitty kindergarten at the Seaforth Veterinary Hospital. This week’s episode of Naked: Stories Of Men (8.30pm, ABC) features Ghost Story, the story of a 14-year-old Chinese boy who is disturbed by recurring dreams after his mother commits suicide. Sunday night movies are The Man Without A Face (repeat, Seven), Forever Young (repeat, Nine) and The Lawnmower Man (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) is off to Sydney for three weeks to help launch a fashion label. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Billy Pope’s (Gary Waddell) girlfriend is found murdered on the eve of giving evidence in an enquiry into police corruption. In comedy series After The Beep (8pm, ABC), Jo (Geneviève Lemon) quits her job after a fight with her boss and arrives home to find her house has been burgled. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Bethany (Melissa Tkautz) keeps her distance from Adam (Mark Constable) and takes an HIV test.

Tuesday: In The Great Outdoors (8pm, Seven), Bridget Adams joins the festivities of the Cannstatter Volkfest in Stuttgart, Germany, and visits the Mercedes Benz Museum. The 68th Academy Awards (8.30pm, Nine) are on a delayed telecast from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Films nominated for Best Picture are Apollo 13, Babe, Braveheart, The Postman and Sense And Sensibility.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Dylan (Corey Glaistner) won’t talk about Shane’s (Dieter Brummer) death. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), the West End firies have to consider mutiny on the fireground when confronted by an officer who appears to be mad.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Jo (Emma Harrison) worries about her career as an aerobics instructor after she discovers Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) motivation for joining her classes. Comedians Julia Morris and Jimeoin are among the cast of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala (8.30pm, Seven) from Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.

Friday: Due to the upcoming weekend’s Victorian election coverage, Hey Hey It’s Saturday (8.30pm, Nine) makes another special Friday appearance. The one-hour special Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures In Japan (8.30pm, Seven) features Rex Hunt touring Japan, including fishing in the Nagara River, and tours the city’s aquarium which recreates different environments from around the world. The AFL Premiership Season kicks off with Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven), featuring Melbourne versus Geelong at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 23 March 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/03/1996-march-23-29.html

Mar 15 2016

1996: March 16-22

tvweek_160396Gladiators is gone!
Hey Hey It’s Saturday‘s Daryl Somers has hosed down predictions from rival Seven Network that the 25-year-old show will struggle to rate in 1996. While he acknowledges that Seven’s Gladiators is having some success in the Saturday night battle, he notes that success come down to demographics. “If you look at the demographic of their show, they are attracting 5 to 12-year-olds,” he told TV Week. “We are in a very strong position because we have the 18-to-35 age group sewn up. As far as advertising agencies are concerned, that’s the important aspect of all this.” And in a bid to keep the show fresh, Somers has signed up Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show host Jo Beth Taylor to join the show. “We’ve always been a very blokey show and we’ve existed very successfully under that banner,” Somers said. “There has not been a conscious effort to keep women off the show but I felt that we should make an effort to address the imbalance. Jo Beth is an extremely talented girl. She has flair and a natural personality, which I think is essential for our show.”

danielamalmDaniel sails away from home
Home And Away star Daniel Amalm is the latest of the show’s teen actors to leave the series. Amalm, who has played the part of Jack Wilson for three years, is hoping to crack into the music industry. Before joining Home And Away he had trained as a guitarist and has since been experimenting with fusing Spanish-Latin guitar with rap for a single to be released later this year. “I’m looking forward to it, because I’m going to get stuck into things and try and create an original style,” he told TV Week. Amalm’s exit from the series will see his character Jack go off to join the navy.

lisamccunejohnwoodTV cops shoot it out
The rivalry between the Seven and Nine networks has now extended to cop dramas, with Seven’s Blue Heelers now getting a challenge from Nine’s new Water Rats. Seven tried to rain on Nine’s parade by a last-minute schedule change that saw Blue Heelers return for 1996 with a movie-length double episode on a Monday night, right up against the movie-length debut of Water Rats. But since then Blue Heelers has settled back into its regular Tuesday night slot, and Water Rats is gaining a popular following on Mondays. The irony in the network rivalry over the shows is that both have come from the same producer — Hal McElroy — but he won’t get caught up in comparing the two shows. “I just hope that people will view the success of Blue Heelers and Water Rats as an encouragement to the whole industry and not just a particular triumph for Hal,” he told TV Week. “I think the success is good for everybody.” Blue Heelers star John Wood (pictured with co-star Lisa McCune) is also talking down any suggestion of rivalry between the shows and supports the idea that there is plenty of room for both dramas to thrive. “From what I’ve seen of Water Rats, it appears to be action based, whereas we are character based,” he told TV Week. “Blue Heelers has more of an English influence, whereas Water Rats is probably more American-based.”


  • Rebecca Gibney, a familiar face on Nine‘s Halifax fp, is to take on roles both in front and behind the camera for a new mini-series being planned for Seven. Kangaroo Palace is set to tell the story of four Australians who set off on a journey of discovery to London in the 1960s.
  • normancoburnemilysymonsWedding bells will soon be ringing in Home And Away… or will they? Summer Bay’s stuffy school principal Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn) is set to pop the question to Marilyn (Emily Symons), although Seven has not confirmed whether or not the couple (pictured) will actually make it down the aisle.
  • Joining Wendy Hughes in the cast of Ten‘s new drama State Coroner is a supporting cast including Elaine Smith (Neighbours), Christopher Stollery (The Flying Doctors), Nick Carrafa (Neighbours, Acropolis Now), Bob Baines and Elise McCredie. Production on the show’s two-hour telemovie pilot is to begin soon in Melbourne.
  • Although ABC has decided not to go ahead with a proposed youth comedy show called Fat City, it has announced plans to launch a new Saturday morning pop culture-music show, Recovery. Described as a cross between former ABC shows Beatbox and The Factory, Recovery is set to debut later this month.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 25 February 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1921000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1887000
3 National Nine News Nine M-F 1737000
4 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1678000
5 JAG Seven Mon 1670000
6 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1661000
7 National Nine News Nine Sun 1612000
8 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1606000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1577000
10 The X Files Ten Wed 1577000
11 Election ’96 Nine Sat 1544000
12 Great Aussie Bloopers Seven Wed 1526000
13 Ellen Seven Thu 1493000
14 Weddings Nine Wed 1478000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1463000
16 The Simpsons Ten Wed 1412000
17 Water Rats Nine Mon 1412000
18 The Nanny Ten Sun 1400000
19 National Nine News Nine Sat 1350000
20 Home And Away Seven M-F 1342000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 16-22):
Saturday: Ken Sutcliffe and Max Walker are back with another season of Wide World Of Sports (1pm, Nine). The 90-minute special The Crawford Story (8.30pm, Nine) presents a nostalgic look at the shows to come from producers Hector and Dorothy Crawford.

simonbakerdennySunday: In Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Matt (Andrew Clarke) is held responsible when the government decides to take back land. The Final of the Cricket World Cup (8.30pm, Nine) is live from Lahore, Pakistan. Simon Baker-Denny (pictured) and Judith McGrath (A Country Practice, Prisoner) star in Blind Side Breakaway (8.30pm, ABC), this week’s episode of Naked: Stories Of Men. Sunday night movies are The Sum Of Us (Seven) and Sneakers (repeat, Ten).

magdaszubanskigarrymcdonaldMonday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the police stakeout of the Kennedy house goes horribly wrong when Cody Willis (Peta Brady) is shot. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), police investigating the death of a recreational diver assume it was accident, while the insurance company claims it was suicide. Garry McDonald and Magda Szubanski (pictured) host 40 Years Of Television (8.30pm, Seven), a look back at Australian television through the years — featuring footage of programs from all networks, including The Aunty Jack Show, The Box, The Mavis Bramston Show, Blankety Blanks and Bellbird. Guest presenter Amanda Keller presents a segment on the show dedicated to the sacred sites of Australian TV, including Wentworth Detention Centre (Prisoner), Ramsay Street (Neighbours), Russell Street Police Headquarters (Homicide) and the apartment block that depicted Number 96.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Maureen (Melissa Jaffer) becomes the guardian of a teenage girl after the death of a close friend.

liddyclark_0001Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) tells Alex (Nick Freedman) she’s moving in with him. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Seldom (Damian Pike) is no closer to breaking Jimmy Runyon’s (Kim Gyngell) insurance scam, so he enlists the help of an old friend, Arson Squad Detective Jean Diamond (Liddy Clark, pictured). In Pacific Drive (10.55pm, Nine), a disillusioned Tim (Darrin Klimek) almost drowns and is rescued by Callie (Danielle Spencer) and Luke (Steve Harman).

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Luke’s (Bernard Curry) entry into the police force is threatened when he misses an obstacle in the agility course.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) is about to quit the accelerated learning program. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alex (Nick Freedman) gives Shannon (Isla Fisher) a ring, confirming his commitment to her; and Sally (Kate Ritchie) learns the identity of her father.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Timesand TV Guide. 9 March 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/03/1996-march-16-22.html

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